June 7

Rhino Ridge Safari Lodge: An Adventure in Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park

June 7, 2021

Rhino Ridge Safari Lodge is often overlooked as a safari destination. However, it’s a premier luxury safari lodge that makes you feel like you’ve been transported to the Jurassic Park era. Picture rolling hills as far as the eye can see.

Having already visited many other South African game reserves, I was excited to add this one to my list. Little did I know that this safari experience would become one of the top reserves on this list. 

Cayleigh enjoying her sundowner in Hluhluwe
To dreamy African sunsets, Photo credit: Katharina Riebesel

Located in KwaZulu-Natal, much of this lodge’s charm lies in the diverse, never-ending landscapes surrounding it. Which, naturally, makes a safari experience that much more authentic.

Welcome to Rhino Ridge Safari Lodge

As soon as we arrived at the Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park, I was in awe of this green oasis. A one-hour drive through the park took us straight to Rhino Ridge Safari Lodge. Set on a hill, it spoils you with wrap-around views of the park. The rooms are scattered far enough to offer privacy yet close enough for easy access to the main lodge. And, of course, each room has a spectacular view over the reserve’s plains. 

Honeymoon Villa at Rhino Ridge Safari Lodge
Spacious luxury rooms await you, Photo credit: Rhino Ridge Safari Lodge

After the friendly staff welcomed us and ran through the Covid-19 protocols, we settled in with our welcome beverage to drink in the views. 

Time to Get Out There

Part of what makes a safari special are the stories. Our guide, Xolani, was insightful, always sharing tales about the lodge, reserve, and wildlife. She also went into more detail about the rules of Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park, which is one of the oldest game reserves in Africa.

On our very first game drive, we were lucky to catch sight of a pack of the endangered African wild dogs just as the sun was setting. This magical start to our stay set the scene for the rest of our trip.

Let’s See Some Rhino!

With a name like Rhino Ridge Safari Lodge, I had high expectations of seeing rhino. Luckily, I was not disappointed. In fact, I was impressed. With every single game drive, we came across this beautiful animal in its natural habitat.

rhino-ridge-safari-lodge-hluhluwe-rhinos
Unicorns with curves, Photo credit: Rhino Ridge Safari Lodge

Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park is doing their best to increase the numbers of black rhino as part of the ongoing effort with the WWF for the Black Rhino Range Expansion Project. Although the rhino are the main attraction, we had several other spectacular sightings. A personal favourite of mine was seeing a herd of elephant congregating around a watering hole.

As we were on our way to enjoy the final sundowner of our trip, we had our closest interaction with the rhino yet. Our safari definitely ended on a high after that!

Experiencing Rhino Ridge Safari Lodge 

Built in 2014, Rhino Ridge Safari Lodge officially opening its doors in 2015. Albeit a ‘young’ lodge, the experience feels like they’ve been doing it for years, with hands-on, personalised service at every interaction.

The food is hearty, flavourful, and precisely what you crave after a full day of safari. 

Although the go-to game reserve is the well-known Kruger National Park, Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park has all the qualities and more to match the experience and should therefore not be overlooked. 

Romantic setting for dinner at Rhino Ridge
Unwind after an adventurous day on safari, Photo credit: Rhino Ridge Safari Lodge

With Rhino Ridge being the only premier lodge in this reserve and offering incredible views and sightings to boot, this is a must to add to your itinerary. It’s an excellent add-on to any itinerary. And, with their sister property Thonga Beach Lodge on the coast, a bush and beach combo is also easily accessible. Ambula Tours organised our transfer.

Ready to experience Rhino Ridge Safari Lodge? Contact us today, and our Travel Experts will plan every detail of your dream African safari adventure.

Featured image: Rhino Ridge Safari Lodge

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About the author 

Cayleigh Brown

Cayleigh has had a keen interest in tourism most of her life and loves to share the magic of her country with others. Having studied Tourism Management at Cape Peninsula University of Technology, she has a passion and love for exploring her home city - Cape Town - and the rest of Southern Africa. Some of her experiences include travelling to Kruger National Park, Garden Route and Mpumalanga. Her favourite experience was staying at a traditional homestay in an authentic Venda village - she loves immersing herself in local culture!

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